Outline: Medicine and Course

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York University
Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies
Department of Social Science

AP/SOSC 2110 6.0 A Critical Study of Health & Society

Fall/Winter 2012-2013

Course Outline

Course Instructor:

Megan Davies (Director)
736-2100 ext. 33812
Ross South 704A Course consultation hours: by appointment

Time & Location:

Lecture: Thursday 4:30-6:30 Room: TEL 0001
Tutorial 1:Friday 10:30-11:30 Room: CC 106
Tutorial 2:Thursday 6:30-7:30 Room: ACW 205
Tutorial 3:Wednesday 10:30-11:30 Room: HNE 104
Tutorial 4: Friday 11:30-12:30 Room: CC 106
Tutorial 5:Thursday 6:30-7:30 Room: ACE 012
Tutorial 6: Thursday 7:30-8:30 Room: ACE 012

Expanded Course Description:

In this course we explore the idea of health, not as a monolithic system, but as a set of beliefs and practices that have been negotiated and debated over time. The course readings and lecture material are interdisciplinary, drawing on anthropology, sociology, human geography and history. Students are encouraged to make links between their own lives and experiences and the material covered in the course.

The course is divided into three sections. The first section is theoretical, including an overview of the history of western medicine and situating its development within the contexts of professional, institutional and technological evolution, gender, race and the global context of imperial expansion. Employing the concept of medical pluralism in the second section of the course, we then look at non-Western and alternative health systems as a comparison and a complement to mainstream Western biomedicine. The third section of the course deals with the practice of health, covering health in the global context, state health care in Canada, and specific health issues which are currently the subject of discussion in the field of health care.

Weekly lectures will be supplemented by films and guest lectures. The majority of tutorial meetings will be focussed on analyzing the required readings which are scholarly articles relating to the weekly lectures. The final set of tutorial meetings will be spent analyzing contemporary documents from public sources that relate to the weekly lectures. Please note that materials from the course lectures, guest lectures, films, and tutorial readings will be included on course exams.

Course Learning Objectives:

1. Brief statement of purpose: The objective of this course is to help students see health in its broader frameworks: economic, social, political and cultural. Over the year students gain a critical sensitivity to the values embedded in biomedicine and in alternative health discourses and practices, as well as an understanding of health both in the local and the global context. 2. Brief list of specific learning objectives of the course: • a wide-ranging knowledge of health issues and a critical understanding of how these are interpreted by various relevant disciplines • an understanding of the role of culture, economics, policy, and place in shaping health and the health experience • an ability to listen to lectures and take clear and comprehensive notes • an ability to craft a piece of scholarly writing, using a clear thesis and a well-structured argument and citing reference material in an appropriate fashion • an ability to organize and conduct field research, understanding the importance of research ethics, and use of relevant academic secondary material to analyze and contextualize research findings • an ability to speak confidently and intelligently about course material in a small group and to respect the opinions and perspectives of others

Required Readings:

A Kit of photocopies is to be purchased at the York Bookstore. This will cover weeks 2 to 19 of the course.

Summary of Assignment Values and Dates:

15% Review Essay (draft due October...
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